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Central Ohio business concerned about hiring ahead of holiday season

There are more jobs than people willing to take them, an issue that comes as many businesses are also trying to find more employees for the holiday season.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It's not difficult to see signs across central Ohio that read "hiring" as many businesses try to find employees to fill openings created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are more jobs than people willing to take them, a dilemma that comes at a bad time since many businesses are now also trying to find more employees for the upcoming holiday season.

Businesses like Walmart have announced they're looking for 20,000 seasonal associates across the country. Kohl's is looking for 90,000 employees. The question is: can they fill those positions?

Economist Dan Laub, a professor in the economics department at Columbus State Community College said it's going to be difficult.

"I think it's probably going to continue to be the same as it is now. Potentially getting worse" Laub said.

Laub believes businesses could be in for a rude awakening as people continue to shy away from the job market and he blames COVID-19.

"We're obviously afraid to be out, especially if you are working in retail face-to-face. A lot of people are still reluctant to go back to work," Laud said.

Phil Metzler is one business owner who is feeling a little nervous this year. He's a co-founder of Glenn Avenue Soap Company in Grandview Heights. 

Metzler said his business typically doubles during the November and December months. Like in years past, he's trying to hire more employees to handle the expected holiday demand but he's running into a small problem.

"It's been challenging and the hiring we have right now...I probably have had fewer responses".

Metzler is also expanding to a new store at Easton Town Center. He said if he can't fill these spots it will only mean one thing.

"It means that we're working more hours," Metzler said.

Like many businesses across the country, Metzler also knows money talks. He is providing a competitive wage with the hope that it will attract workers.

Laub said it's a win for those who are looking to find employment.

"Take the bonuses while you can because a lot of places are offering them," Laub said.

The only fear is that experts feel a lot of people will still choose to not work even if it's seasonal and the result could be poor service for consumers and even fewer profits for businesses.

For those who are looking for employment, job recruiters say don't take a job for granted even though the market favors employees right now.

Be prepared if you do get an interview. If it's a virtual interview it might be a good idea to run a test call on the company's chosen conferencing platform to make sure there are no issues when it's time to interview.

During the interview, consider asking how the pandemic has impacted the company and what measures are in place to protect employees and finally, be patient. Continue to communicate with the employer and let them know you are available when the time comes to hire.

If you’re looking for employment you can also look on the Ohio Means Jobs website.